featured, Football Development, Girls' Football

Pro:Direct Super Schools League kicks off

Pro:Direct, the English Schools’ FA, adidas and The Goalposts League join forces to launch the Pro:Direct Super Schools League

Pro:Direct Soccer, the World’s largest online specialist sports store, has teamed up with the English Schools’ FA (ESFA), the National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England, adidas and The Goalposts League to introduce an exciting new initiative – the inaugural Pro:Direct Super Schools League. The league kicked off on Monday 12 June and features six schools from the East London area.

The primary objective of the Pro:Direct Super Schools League, is to promote and encourage greater girls’ football participation, outside of school hours. Current statistics indicate that approximately 60% of schools fail to provide equal extracurricular football opportunities to girls, in comparison to boys. Pro:Direct Soccer aim to address this disparity by creating a platform that empowers and inspires young girls to engage in the beautiful game.

According to recent research, an astounding 68% of girls also expressed a fear of judgement as a significant barrier preventing them from participating in football activities. To tackle this, Pro:Direct Soccer have acquired the support of the Goalposts League, a 5-a-side football league in London where women and non-binary people of all levels are welcome to play, to develop a safe and inclusive space for girls to enjoy the sport without fear of being judged. This nurturing environment will enable participants to embrace their passion for football while having fun and building confidence.

The Pro:Direct Super Schools League will offer a range of exciting out-of-school opportunities for girls to showcase their skills, develop teamwork and experience the joy of football. Through the league, Pro:Direct aims to create a transformative experience that not only encourages girls to play football but also fosters a sense of camaraderie and friendship among the participants.

“We are thrilled to partner with the ESFA, adidas and The Goalposts League to launch the Pro:Direct Super Schools League” said Tim Bayliss, Head of Brand Development & Growth at Pro:Direct. “These likeminded brands all have a collective ambition to make football more readily available for her and the Super Schools League will serve as a catalyst for change, challenging the existing barriers that limit girls’ out-of-school participation in football”. Shameek Farrell, founder of The Goalposts League explained “We want to facilitate their personal growth on the pitch, support them with their endeavours away from the pitch, fuel their fire to learn and, most importantly, demonstrate that this is their game and that the possibilities are endless”

Kathryn Swarbrick, General Manager and SVP, adidas Northern Europe said, “The upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup is an exciting time for fans nationwide, with the potential to continue to ignite a passion for football among young girls. Nonetheless, the persistent obstacles of liited access and insufficient support hinder their regular participation in the sport. To address this challenge, our collaboration with PDS, Goalposts League and the ESFA will create a ground-breaking initiative that provides schoolgirls with equal opportunities to play football on a consistent basis”

Football Development, Rewarding our Volunteers

ESFA Launch the Reward & Recognition Awards 2023

The ESFA is delighted to be launching its first ever Reward and Recognition Awards for the 2022/23 season. There are seven awards up for grabs in 2023!

The awards will be split with four being dedicated to work carried out by volunteers within ESFA District and County Associations and 3 dedicated to the achievements of teachers and players within schools.

Association Awards

Nominations are open from Monday 27 March until Thursday 6 April 2023. Nominations for Association awards cannot be accepted from the general public, for a nomination to be accepted, it must be submitted by an Association member (volunteer, Secretary, Chair etc.)

The award categories for nominations are –

  • Voluntary dedication to Schools’ Football award
  • Association success story award
  • Association young volunteer award
  • Match official service to Schools’ Football award

To nominate a volunteer in your area who is deserving of any of the above awards, simply follow the link below, fill out the form and submit it for consideration

CLICK HERE to nominate an Association volunteer

School Awards

Nominations for school awards are open from Monday 27 March until Thursday 6 April 2023. Nominations for school awards can be submitted by any member of the public, whereby they know of a teacher or player who deserves recognition regarding their services to schools’ football.

The award categories for nominations are –

  • Teacher dedication to Schools’ Football award
  • Schools’ Football team achievement award
  • Schools’ Football player award

To nominate a volunteer or player in your area who is deserving of any of the above awards, simply follow the link below, fill out the form and submit it for consideration

CLICK HERE to nominate a school volunteer

And the winner is…

Award nominations will be considered by the ESFA and the shortlisted nominees will be informed of their success and given special recognition via the ESFA’s online channels. Voting will then open and will be shared online. Voting will open on Monday 17th April, for ten days, until Thursday 27 April 2023.

Winners will be announced online and invited to attend a day of National Schools’ Cup Finals at Stoke City FC on Saturday 13 May, where they will be presented with their awards.

Reward & Recognition

It is the ESFA’s aim to recognise and reward volunteers in a new way. The ongoing growth and success of Schools’ Football is down to the dedication and hard work of an army of volunteers across England. We hope that this inaugural R&R Awards scheme will celebrate those who are already doing so much and also inspire others to get involved in their own area.